The B-25 was already started – my instructor and captain on this flight said that if one can start and taxi the B-25, the rest is easy! Notice my Piloti pilot shoes! Trying to set up the GoPro, didn’t work – I put it in still mode somehow! Steve Johnson, the instructor and PIC was very patient with me! The other Collings Foundations planes were also getting ready to leave, ahead of an ominous raid cloud at Moffet Field Steve is in the middle of briefing me for the taxi, run up and takeoff “It will get so loud you won’t be able to hear even with our noise canceling headsets, so I’ll indicate with my hands like this when I want you to pull back on the yoke!” “Just stay in ground effect from 100 mph to 145 mph, which is the single engine safety speed Starting to taxi! On the taxiway at Moffet Federal Airfield Demonstrating taxiing with the Mitchell. “Don’t use brakes, just get some airflow on the twin rudders and be patient when using the rudder” Doing the run up checklist. Steve reached over and put the parking brake on
Doing the prop and feathering check The yellow light on the panel is the “gear travel limit” light When the feathering buttons are pressed the load on the generator increases and then falls off For the Mag checks – check that there is shake in the engine! Taking runway 32L for the departure I was going through the take off sequence with Steve
I take the controls of a North American B-25 for the very first time! Steve’s got the power Notice the raindrops falling when we got going! Slipping the surly bonds of earth – I think I kept it pretty straight! Early turn out! You can hear the first power reduction 33 inches / 2300 rpm Reduction to cruise 25 inches 1700 rpm That way to the Sunol pass and Livermore airport! We were doing about 180 mph at this point We were IFR – I Follow Roads. 680 is right in front of us Steve was checking his Snapchat!
Steve talking to Livermore tower as we arrive at the visual check point at Sunol Golf Course Approaching the Shadowcliffs lake, where we have paddled paddle boats Steve: “Raise the nose we got to get this thing slowed down!” Oops, looking for elevator trim at the wrong place! Starting my base turn! With gear and flaps down she nicely maintains single engine safety speed – 145 mph All the bombers do flat approaches – very different perspective from the Pitts S-2C which basically dive bombs the aim point! Steve asked me to aim for the truck on the highway at the end of runway 25R ! Now the speed is bled off and she is leveled off
Not too bad for a first landing, winds were gusting 16 to 21 knots and varying The nose is held up for aerodynamic braking I swear, I just thought about touching the brakes and that thud happened! Good co-pilot action with assertive check list reading! Since this is the Bay Area shouldn’t that sign be Uber or Lyft 🙂 Notice Steve’s big watch – its de riguer for a warbird pilot! Shutdown check list Idle cut of on mixtures one at a time